Posts By: Busayo Ajao

Greetings, 👋

It’s great to catch up with you again. Today’s episode is all about how the outdoor population size works. Let’s take a look. 😉

The City has an outdoor population size and a base population size.

The outdoor population size is the total number of customers that are outdoors and willing to make a purchase. The base population size is the total number of customers, including those indoors.

The City’s base population size is the sum of the base population sizes across all localities.

The base population size for each locality is shown below:

Because many prices in the game are similar to their real-life counterparts, and given the limited number of customers we could include in each locality, we implemented a customer effect scale of 1:10 to ensure businesses could become profitable.

In effect, each customer has an in-game impact of 10 customers. For example, the 60 customers in Street Corner have an effect equivalent to 600 customers.

The outdoor population size in each locality depends on the influence of three main factors, which are:

  • General happiness of the population (Population Happiness)
  • Economic well-being of the people (Economic Happiness)
  • Random Events

The influence of any of these factors determines the outdoor population size in each locality and the City at large.

For example, the image below shows the difference between the outdoor and base population size in Glamour and Hip Street.

This difference results from the current Economic Happiness in the City being lower than expected.

Economic happiness affects all localities and effectively produces a current population for the City, 968, lower than the base, 1260.

We looked at the impact of economic happiness and random events in this episode and this episode, respectively, so let’s look at Population Happiness.

The population starts with an average Happiness level of 50. Their current happiness (Population Happiness) per time will fluctuate upwards ↗️ or downwards ↘️ depending on the outcome of the following formula:

From the above, you can see that weather plays a substantial role in the overall happiness of the population.

We explained how weather works in detail here.

Depending on the prevailing weather for the time of day, the following is the impact on Population Happiness:

When it’s sunny, the population happiness due to weather is maximum and therefore a higher outdoor population size is expected.

But as the weather worsens, population happiness due to weather reduces till the outdoor population drops to zero when there is a storm.

Whenever there is a lower outdoor population size, you will need to adjust your business strategy to operate sustainably.

And that’s a wrap for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

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Hello, 👋

As I sit to write this episode about the game’s Events system, the words of Dale Carnegie come to mind. 🤔

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

From the beginning, we knew that because of the nature of Business Heroes, the game ran the risk of being an overly serious management game.

And we certainly didn’t want that. 😒

So, we introduced the Events system to enhance your excitement and entertainment while playing the game.

You can think of it like the news media in real life. Except that the news it delivers is improbable to happen in real life.

As you grow your food truck business, you will have to adapt and make quick decisions in response to these very unrealistic events. 😆

Design & Implementation

We divided the events into two categories, Good and Bad. Each day, the system generates a random number 🔢 that determines the chances of an event occurring the following day. 🌄

Depending on the number, the outcome can be a good event, no event, or a bad event.

In general, the system leans towards good events. We did that because the goal of the system is enjoyment, not frustration.

The news section pops up whenever there’s a new event, and you can select your preferred news channel from three choices.

Your selection determines the category of event you get.

Each event spans from a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of 10 days. For example, the event below is a 50% sale on all Upgrades that will last for 1 day.

Both event categories have 5 levels each. These levels determine the effect and frequency of the event. A level 2 good event has less positive effects on your business compared to a level 5 event, and is likely to happen more frequently than a level 5 event.

The same is true for bad events.

We also designed the system in such a way that the probability of getting a Level 1 or 2 event is higher than that of levels 3, 4, and 5.

The image below shows that the probability of occurrence of a Level 1 good event is 26/40 as against 2/40 for a Level 4 good event.

The events cause a percentage increase or decrease in a wide range of statistics, all of which are listed below:

For displayed stats, you can always see the event effect and duration in their tooltips.

Events can range from a massive discount on upgrades to the Nation discovering a cure for cancer.

Here are a few examples:

If you have crazy ideas about other events we can add to the Events system, we’d love to read about them. 🕺

You can send in your ideas by responding to this email with them.

The events system is an exaggerated, gamified version of business reality designed to boost fun and enjoyment. We hope it adds to your overall experience of the game.

And that’s a wrap for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Hello, 👋

I am strolling back home, lost in game-balancing calculations, when the delicious aroma of fresh doughnuts draws me out of my daydream.

Well, there’s no harm in checking out the source of the scent, I think to myself as I begin to look around. I see the aroma’s source, a solitary kiosk tucked away at the street’s corner, and walk up to it.

But the displayed price instantly stops me in my tracks.

I am familiar with the cost of doughnuts, but this seemed much higher. I wondered if the vendor, being the only doughnut seller in the area, was trying to exploit the limited supply.

And my thoughts immediately jump to how pricing works in Business Heroes.

Some customers are more sensitive to the price of burgers than others. Students, Parents, and Staffs, for instance, have lower disposable incomes compared to the other segments. For them, affordability/price is a big part of the buying decision.

Other factors that influence buying decisions in the game are:

– Time of day
– How appealing the Stand looks
– The food and service quality of the Stand
– Brand popularity of the business

These customers will shy away from your stand if they consider your burger to be too expensive.

How do they decide what’s expensive and what’s not?

They compare the cost of your burger to the cost of alternatives, such as a homemade burger, and decide based on which option offers the best value for their money.

If the cost of buying all the ingredients plus the time and effort to make the burger themselves is significantly less than the burger price, they will likely consider it expensive.

But as the difference between the burger’s price and the cost of the homemade option reduces, it will seem more affordable to them, and their likelihood of buying the burger will be higher.

To show you how it works, let’s take a closer look at how pricing affects the buying behaviour of the Students segment.

The formula we used:

This results in a graph that shows how the probability of Students buying a burger drops as the percentage difference between the burger price and homemade cost increases:

You can see that Students are very price sensitive as their purchase probability begins to drop at a very low percentage price difference between buying the burger or making it at home.

The graph is different for each customer segment. Some customers like Fit-ones and Managers have a high purchase probability even at a price difference above 200%!

This is because their buying decision is based more on stand appeal, food and service quality, brand name recognition, etc., than on price.

It’s essential to consider your target market’s price sensitivity when setting your menu price to ensure you are maximizing sales.

As I turn away from the Kiosk, it occurs to me that people who do not consider themselves price-sensitive (such as myself) could exhibit price-sensitive behaviour when they suspect monopolistic behaviour.

Hmm. That could be an excellent mechanic to add to the game.

Then again, it might make the game WAY too complex.

But we’d only be able to tell once we try it.

And that’s a wrap for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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27 January 2023

Food quality matters 😋

Greetings, 👋

“Why do these Environmentalists keep ignoring my food stand?” wailed Busayo, our content writer.

“They walk right past my Stand only to queue up at Motawea’s! Who would believe that some customers like to queue? Guys, you need to implement a way for me to do something about Motawea’s Stand. Maybe throw a Burger Bomb at it or send Inspection Officers to shut it down!”

The mock fury in his voice sent Motawea, our Multiplayer programmer, into a laughing fit and made me chuckle.

I glanced at Busayo’s company valuation on my screen and noticed it was taking a beating. Motawea, his only competition in Park Central, was cleaning him out.

It’s our weekly playtest session, and today we are in a 30-day race for dominance in multiplayer mode. So far, our lead developer, Hongjing, is leading everyone with a company valuation of over $20,000.

As day 16 starts, I click to Park Central to see what’s happening in real time.

Park Central is known for its large population of Environmentalists. No food truck can survive there for long if they don’t buy from you. That’s why Busayo is desperate to sell to them.

Busayo’s Stand Range (we explained how Stand Range works in this email) is wide enough to attract customers. Parents are also buying from him. So, his problem isn’t due to a poor brand or high price.

Parents are more price sensitive than Environmentalists. If they can afford his Burgers, Environmentalists certainly can.

Motawea’s Stand, on the other hand, has a long queue of environmentalists in front of it. They clearly prefer his Stand to Busayos’ for some reason.

Busayo’s food stand is attracting customers but not the right ones for that location. I think about it for a minute and realize the problem is likely his Food Quality.

But I keep this information to myself.

How Food Quality Works 🍔🌟

Food quality is based on the feedback customers give about the taste and freshness of a Stand’s burger. Every Stand starts with zero food quality feedback.

You can see it in the tooltip below:

As you modify your burger recipe to suit your target customer segment, your food quality will increase or decrease depending on their feedback.

Food Quality Feedback 👍👎

The highest food quality feedback customers can give is called the Perfect Recipe. Customers give this feedback when a burger recipe matches their preference in size and composition.

However, because customers have different preferences, the Perfect Recipe for each segment will differ. The perfect recipe for one customer might be a burger with too many or too few ingredients for another.

When one or more ingredients are too much or too little for a customer, they will give an ‘excessive ingredient’ or ‘insufficient ingredient’ feedback. Both of which reduce your Stand’s quality.

Business Impact 💰

Your food quality will grow if most customers give you the perfect recipe feedback. It will decrease if most customers give you the ‘excessive ingredient’ or ‘insufficient ingredient’ feedback.

When a Stand’s food quality becomes too low, most quality-conscious customers like Environmentalists, Fit-ones, and Managers bypass the Stand. A Stand with high food quality will easily attract such customers.

And that’s the situation Busayo is in.

Motawea had jubilantly announced on day two that he had found the perfect recipe for the Environmentalists. Over several days, the compounding effect of this early discovery on his food quality has become his advantage over Busayo.

Most of Busayo’s customers are still giving negative feedback, further damaging his food quality and hampering his ability to attract more Environmentalists.

To gradually wrest back market share from Motawea, he will first need to reverse the damage to his food quality. He can do this by either finding the perfect recipe for the Environmentalists or avoiding negative feedback from his current customers.

Then he’d also need to invest in marketing to attract more customers and build his food quality.

Either way, it will take some strategic thinking, and maybe a stroke of luck (in the form of a Random Event), for him to catch up with Motawea before day 30.

As I click back to Street Corner, where my Stand is pulling in a decent profit without competition, I wonder if giving players the power to attack their competition will increase the fun.

What do you think? What should we go for?

Let me know what you think by responding to this email.

And that’s a wrap for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Hello Heroes!

Today we are taking you behind the scenes to see how we generate economic cycles in the game. 😀

Let’s dive right in!

The Importance of Adaptability

Successful entrepreneurship requires adaptability—the ability to roll with unexpected punches capable of knocking out your best-laid plans.

Imagine starting out as a food truck entrepreneur. You’ve carefully selected the best location, perfected your menu, and are just beginning to get into the flow of things. But just weeks into your launch, the economy takes a nose dive.

Suddenly, your carefully crafted plans and projections go up in smoke, and you are left scrambling to save your business.

This is a scenario many entrepreneurs have faced at some point, and the ability to quickly adapt their business strategy to unexpected economic realities is often what differentiates successful businesses from the rest.

Simulating Economic Impact

We decided to simulate the same phenomenon in the game to allow you to flex your strategic-thinking skills. Each city in the game has a different difficulty level based on many factors, including its economic situation 📉.

Like in real life, each city’s economy in the game experiences business cycles of economic growth and downturn. Although an average cycle lasts about ten years, we thought it would be fun to implement business cycles in the game as one-year rotations 😎.

The city has nine customer segments with unique spending limits and habits. Their perceived value of your burger 🍔 & drink 🥤 increases or decreases depending on the economic situation.

Here’s how we designed it.

The Design

Let’s take Washington DC, as an example. The graph below shows the annual GDP growth for the US. Despite the micro tremors, the overall 10-year cycle is unmistakable. ⬇️

For our simulation, we picked the US’s ten-year average GDP growth rate (2%) to generate the base case scenario of the economy:

The graph below illustrates the outcome of the formula.

As you strive to grow your business, the economic growth percentage will move across the blue dotted line to simulate economic growth or slow down.

Real economies also experience unexpected spikes and dips in the business cycle. We catered to this by implementing an events mechanic.

Based on the probability of occurrence, events such as technological breakthroughs 💻, international sports events 🏈, or trade wars and taxes will feed the simulation with spikes and dips.

In-game Impact

The population size is divided into outdoor and base population sizes. The outdoor population size is the total number of customers that are outdoors and willing to make a purchase. The base population size is the total number of customers, including those indoors.

The economic situation influences the outdoor population size. Many or fewer customers are willing to come out and spend depending on if the economy is in a growth phase or a downturn.

Each segment has a Base Economic Happiness, e.g. 40 units. Their current economic happiness per time will fluctuate upwards ↗️ or downwards ↘️ depending on the current economic condition.

Example of the calculation for the Parent segment.

Y generates the current economic happiness 😄 value of the Parent segment. You can see the difference between the outdoor and base population size as well as the current and base economic happiness in the customer segment tooltip.

Less population leads to fewer sales for your business ☹️. You will need to strategize, adjust your price, increase your marketing spending and improve your burger quality to drive sales. Additionally, having enough savings to weather the hard times really helps. 😉

That’s it for this episode!

Don’t forget to join our community to get these behind-the-scenes specials delivered directly to your inbox. Plus, we’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries

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Hello, 👋

It’s 7 pm, and I’ve just said goodbye to Hongjing, My, and Busayo after our first planning meeting of the year. As I minimize Microsoft Teams on my computer 🖥️, it occurs to me again, for the umpteenth time, that the vision is possible. 💯

As a member of a 100%-remote company, I am constantly amazed by the dedication and passion of the team.

We are a group of diverse individuals united in our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full entrepreneurship potential and positively impact the world.

This belief brought us together to build Visionaries and, eventually Business Heroes. We’ve worked tirelessly on the game for the past few years, but after today’s meeting, our most important goal for 2023 is clear.

Release Business Heroes 90% complete in Early Access ✔️

Why is this goal so important to us? 💭

You see, we are on an ambitious 10-year journey to create the world’s largest simulated economy, and we still have so much work 🛠️ to do before we reach our ultimate goal.

Releasing this year will allow us to gather valuable feedback from players like you, which we will eventually channel into our next games. 🎮

What About You? 😃

As a way to begin the year, I’m inviting you to share your most important goal for 2023 with us too. Whether it’s a personal goal or a professional one, we want to hear from you.

So please send us a message and let us know what matters most to you in 2023.

Who knows, we might be able to help you get there. 😉

Cheers to another great year of building, growing, and succeeding together! 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

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Hello, 👋

As I sit here surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights and half-eaten cookies (survivors from last night’s Business Heroes playthrough), I can’t help but feel grateful as I reflect on the past year.

Developing Business Heroes has been a wild ride, full of late nights and early mornings, triumphs and setbacks, and more coffee than I care to admit.

But it’s all been worth it.

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing your dream slowly but surely, morph into reality.

And for this, I am grateful to my Wife, Reshma, and the Visionaries Team, Hongjing, Motawea, My, and Busayo, for helping to make the game what it is today.

So, as we wrap up 2022 and prepare to ring in 2023 in a few hours, here’s a look back at some of the fantastic improvements made to the game this year.

2022 Q1: Missions, Events, and Multiplayer Financials

The first quarter saw us implementing the Missions System, which doubles as a tutorial and allows new players gradually discover functionalities in the game.

Players step into young Master Lee’s shoes to overcome challenges and experience some truly satisfying victories.

We also added the Events System, which enhances the game’s replayability.

And let’s not forget the crucial improvements to the financials and accounting in multiplayer. Thanks to them, players can now compete based on company value.

2022 Q2: Customer Path Fixing, Banking, and Humour

In April, we successfully improved the efficiency of the pathing system by enabling customers to find the shortest path to a food stand from any point in their journey across a location.

We also implemented the banking system to allow players to take loans at rates based on their debt-to-equity ratios.

Finally, we added Customer Monologues, a humourous feature that helped bring the game to life. It gives players a deeper understanding of the people they serve and adds an emotional connection to the game.

2022 Q3: Bankruptcy, Customer Queues, and Tooltips

One of the major additions we made in Q3 was the implementation of bankruptcy accounting. This was a crucial addition to the game as players can now drop out when they can’t repay their debts.

We fixed a bug that caused customers to pile into each other in front of a food stand.

We also made critical improvements to the game’s user experience, including implementing tooltips to provide players with helpful information on various gameplay elements.

We put a lot of time and effort into deciding what information to surface for players and how best to present it. So, seeing it come to life was a genuinely emotional moment for us.

2022 Q4: Notifications, Business Tips, and Animations

We immediately started implementing feedback from our October test by redesigning the notifications section. It’s now easier for players to stay up-to-date on important feedback and updates about their business.

We also introduced the Business Tips section to provide players with valuable advice and guidance on how to succeed in real-world business.

We ended the year by adding some exciting new animations to the game to provide an extra layer of humour and engagement.

In total, we produced 52 new builds this year. It’s been incredible, and we couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement.

Thank YOU for being a part of the Business Heroes community.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and we can’t wait to share the finished game with you.

2023: Demos and Pre-Order

We will continue to focus on player feedback and improvement as we conduct more tests and release more demos.

We will finish setting up our shop, and you will officially be able to Pre-order the game. You can take a sneak peek here.

Cheers to another great year of building, growing, and succeeding together! 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Food truck owners expect to face a variety of challenges daily. But perhaps one of the biggest challenges they face is terrible weather. Keeping the truck open and customers satisfied can be extra demanding when it’s freezing or pouring outside.

This episode is about how we designed the game’s weather system to simulate city-specific weather conditions.

The Challenge

As you know, there are several major cities in the game. To improve the player experience and game difficulty, we had to ensure that each city’s in-game weather mirrors the historical weather conditions of their real-life counterpart.

Getting this right was quite the challenge. 😅

Solution

We first tried to implement a replica of historical weather conditions in each city. But we quickly realized this would pose a problem with replayability as players would eventually find our data source 😨 and have an unfair advantage on the leaderboards.

So we decided to discard this method. 🚮

Our second and final approach was to use the normal distribution and the average temperature and precipitation values in a city to generate the weather condition. For example, let’s take Washington, DC, as a case study.

Below is the actual data for Washington, DC:

By taking the average temperature as a mean and using a standard deviation of one, we randomly generated the temperature to fit within the high and low ranges. The Box–Muller transform was particularly useful here.

This method helped us account for the rare occurrence of a very high 🥵 or very low 🥶 temperature, which happens in reality. Similarly, for the precipitation, we used the average as a mean and a standard deviation of two to generate the amount of rain 🌧️, which directs the cloud volume. ☁️

 

Result

You can observe a clear jump ⬆️ in averages as we move from month to month, which shouldn’t be so. To resolve this, we employed weekly peak averages instead of monthly, which made it work as intended.

Below is a yearly temperature simulation for Washington DC for the morning 🌅, afternoon 🕑, and evening 🌆.

The simulation for the rain/cloud below is for the mornings alone in Washington, DC. As you can see, most mornings, there is a light shower or an overcast, followed by sunny conditions and light rain.

We think this method strikes the right balance between fun 🕺💃 and computing requirements. 💻

In-game impact

The presence of rain ☔ and snow 🌨️ reduces the outdoor population in the game, thus reducing the number of sales possible during the period, just like in real life. You can always invest in upgrades to reduce the impact of weather on your business.

However, it might not be a profitable investment if your chosen customer segment is not big enough. It will take strategic thinking 🤔 and astute decision-making to discern the best time for such an investment.

That’s it for this episode!

Don’t forget to join our community to get these behind-the-scenes specials delivered directly to your inbox. Plus, we’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries

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Greetings, 👋

The alarm from my mobile phone interrupts the pleasant silence in my study to remind me that it’s time to head out for my evening jog. The melody is soothing, and I let it continue for a bit.

I really should get up from this desk and go for that jog.

As I push my chair back to stand up, I get an email from the team asking me to review the latest version of the game’s notification system.

During our last playtest, many testers experienced difficulties navigating the system. The team has been working hard at redesigning it since then.

Notifications System Overview

You can think of the notification system as the player’s business dairy. It automatically logs, in real-time, all essential activities in their business including:

  • Customer interaction and employee performance
  • Current loans and short-term debts
  • Food truck upgrades
  • Marketing
  • Inventory and cost of goods sold
  • Events

Everything the player needs. It’s all there. The notifications help to keep track of all the moving parts of a business across the city.

This is how it looked before:

Problems with the old design

After watching different testers struggle to find and use the notifications section during the alpha test in October, I knew it was begging for an overhaul.

Some of their observations were:

  • The arrow that expands the notifications wasn’t obvious.
  • The messages didn’t scroll on their own during gameplay
  • The notifications section returned to earlier messages when the player started the day.
  • There was no way to ignore activity notifications from customer segments the player wasn’t interested in.

New prototype

With our work cut out for us, the team had a group brainstorming session to modify the design. The image below is what we initially came up with:

In this design, we:

  1. Changed the position and size of the arrow that expands the section.
  2. Increased the maximum expansion size to cover almost the entire screen.
  3. Replaced the scrolling function with buttons
  4. Added an upward-seeking control to the medium expansion view
  5. Increased the size of the medium expansion view
  6. Implemented automatic text scrolling
  7. Renamed the notification filters

Implementation

First, the team got rid of the scroll bar and modified the components to accommodate the minimum, medium, and maximum views.

Then they configured the upward and downward scroll buttons to handle variable view sizes. They also ensured the information presented while scrolling through old and new messages is ordered correctly.

The first implementation in-game didn’t look quite like we wanted it:

We wanted all the notifications to fit into just one line, and the space between the messages looked way too much.

We went at it again for a couple more days. In the end, while we couldn’t get all the notifications into one line, we managed to get most of them. After trimming the space between the messages, the team added the function to filter information by customer group.

The result:

This looked much better, and I asked them to complete the redesign. It is for this last version I just got notified.

As I launch the game, I realize I won’t be going for that jog after all. 😆

The final look:

And that’s a wrap for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

 

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Successful food truck owners all know one thing. Poor food and service quality will kill a food truck business faster than you can say, “Rest in peace” 😵. This news update is about preventing your food truck company from death by poor service.

After every sale, customers give feedback about your Stand’s quality of service. This feedback increases ⬆️ or decreases ⬇️ the Stand’s total quality 🌟 depending on if it is good 👍 or bad 👎. Negative feedback shows you areas of the Stand that need improvement.

A business that consistently ignores negative quality feedback from its customers cannot expect to survive for long. This is because the Stand’s overall quality forms part of its Reputation. An excellent reputation allows a Stand to attract more customers farther away from it. You can read more about this here.

A higher Stand quality has a positive effect on Stand Reputation. So, what makes up Stand quality? A Stand’s overall quality is based on its Service Quality and Food Quality.

Service Quality

Service quality measures how a business’s service delivery compares to customer expectations. Quality service leaves a strong impression in the customer’s mind. 🤩

For a food truck, this means delivering speedy service in a friendly and helpful manner 😊. That’s why we divided Service Quality into service speed and customer service.

Service Speed 🏃💨

This measures how long it takes a Stand’s employee to serve customers. New Stand employees start with an average service speed.

You can improve their speed through training 🧑‍🏫, increased employee happiness 😁, and Stand upgrades 🦾.

Bad customer feedback 👎 and employee unhappiness 😞 will worsen your employee service speed. So it’s best to address them immediately.

When a Stand has two employees, the Stand’s service speed is the sum of both employees.

Service speed is inversely proportional to the time ⌚ employees take to serve customers. As service speed increases, the time (measured in milliseconds) to serve customers reduces.

We are using milliseconds because we compressed time in the simulation.

The formula for this relationship is:
Here’s a graph showing the result of the formula:
You can see that the time to serve a customer reduces at higher employee service speeds.

Customer Service 🏅

This shows the employee’s ability to charm customers. Excellent customer service guarantees positive feedback 👍 from customers.

Like service speed, new employees start with an average customer service rating. You can improve their rating through training and increased employee happiness.

Bad feedback 👎 and employee unhappiness 😞 will also worsen customer service if left unattended. Unlike service speed, there are no Stand upgrades to improve customer service.
The customer service quality for Stands with two employees is the average of both.

Improving Service Quality

One of the best ways to improve your food truck service quality is to train 🧑‍🏫 your employees. Training helps improve service speed and customer interaction.

Impact of Training on Service Speed

Employees start at training Level 0 and can be trained up to Level 6. Each new training level increases the employee’s service speed by a certain amount.
In the table below, you can see how different training levels impact service speed and the equivalent time it takes to serve a customer:

A new employee with zero training and no Stand upgrades has a service speed of 40. At this speed, it will take them 4256 milliseconds to serve one customer.

But at training level 4, it will take the employee only 3511 milliseconds 🤯 to serve a customer. As training and speed increase, service time reduces.

Impact of Training on Customer Service

Like service speed, each new training level increases the employee’s customer service by a certain amount (as illustrated in the earlier image). The table below shows the progression:

Happy employees, happy company. 😁

Employee happiness measures how enthusiastic and dedicated a worker feels toward their job. Happy employees are present, and they perform better. We kept things simple by tying the employee’s happiness to their salary and bonuses.

Employees begin with a certain happiness level. This level increases or decreases based on their salary, bonuses, and random events.

What’s the market rate got to do with it? 🤔

As in real life, there is an average salary expectation or market rate for the position of a food stand employee. This amount differs from city to city.

An employee’s happiness depends on the difference between their salary and the market rate. Paying your employees higher than the market rate will make them happier and vice versa.

What happens when employee happiness drops? 😓

When your employee’s happiness is average and above, they feel engaged and motivated. Their probability of not showing up for work is 0. As their happiness drops below average, they begin to lose motivation. So, their likelihood of not showing up for work increases.

The screenshot below shows Sophie being absent due to employee unhappiness.

Here’s the formula for calculating the effect on employee happiness due to the difference between their salary and the market rate:

And the result of the formula in a graph:

You can see that at 5% above the market rate, there is no effect on the employee’s happiness. Their happiness improves or worsens as the difference increases or decreases.

Happiness affects speed 🏃💨 and customer service 👍

The table below shows how employee happiness affects service speed and customer service.

Happier employees gain one extra point in speed and service quality across all training levels. They are faster and treat the customers better than their colleagues in the same training level.

Food Truck Upgrades 🛠️

Upgrades are extra facilities that help to improve a Stand’s performance, offering, or value. Various upgrades are available. From cash registers, sound systems, and Umbrellas ⛱️ to cooling fans, nitro boosters, and organic veggies 🫑🍅.

Some upgrades improve employee efficiency, the Stand’s appeal, or food quality, while others comfort or entertain customers.

Some Stands have certain upgrades built in (like in the above image), while they need to be bought for others. Such purchases are based on compatibility, as not all upgrades are compatible with each Stand. All upgrades with a padlock in the above image are not compatible with Isabella’s Stand.

Food Quality

Food quality is based on the taste and freshness of the Stand’s burgers. Every Stand starts with average food quality. As you change your burger recipe for your target customer segment, your food quality will increase or decrease depending on their feedback. Random events can also affect food quality positively or negatively.

The most satisfactory feedback customers can give is called the Perfect Recipe. Customers give this feedback when the ingredients in a burger recipe match their taste in size and composition. However, because customers have different tastes, the Perfect Recipe for each segment will differ.

Customer Experience and Feedback

Service Speed Feedback

Customers measure a Stand’s service speed by the amount of time ⌚ they are willing to wait to buy a burger 🍔. This time is called Customer Patience, and it’s different for each segment.

For instance, Students 🧑‍🎓, with limited cash and time to burn, can wait for 15000 milliseconds (about 90 minutes in real life) to be served. But Managers 🧑‍💼 will only wait for 6667 milliseconds (40 minutes in real life) before leaving.

Service speed 🏃💨 is one factor that determines how fast your burger queue moves. If the time to reach the front of the queue exceeds a customer’s patience, they will say that the wait is too long 😡 and leave. The image below shows a manager stomping off because the wait is too long for him.

But if the customer is first in line, they will buy the burger and say that the service is too slow 🐌.

Customers become more patient when the Stand has certain upgrades. Things like sound systems, TV screens, and cooling fans all help to improve patience.

Customer Service Feedback

It works the same way for customer service. Each customer segment has a minimum customer service need. Service below this threshold will attract bad customer service feedback 👎.

The customer service threshold for Parents is 25, and 50 for Tourists. If your employee’s customer service is below 50, Tourists will keep complaining about it. But as long as it is not below 25, Parents will be okay with it.

The gif below shows a Tourist leaving bad customer service feedback while buying a burger. Judging by the previous customer’s reaction, the burger is terrible, and they will complain about that too. 🤣

Food Quality Feedback

Recall that the Perfect Recipe for each customer segment is unique. The perfect recipe for one customer might be a burger with too many or too few ingredients for another. Customers judge your recipe by the quality and amount of ingredients in it.

When one or more ingredients are too much or too little for a customer, they will give an ‘excessive ingredient’ or ‘insufficient ingredient’ feedback. Both of which reduce your Stand’s quality.

Excess ingredient feedback

Insufficient ingredient feedback

For quality-conscious customers, their perfect recipe requires special ingredients like the softest buns. You will need a fresh bun maker installed on your Stand to produce these buns.

Conclusion

Delivering excellent quality in your food Stand begins with paying genuine attention to your recipe, employees, and customers 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. When you prepare tasty recipes, train your employees, keep them happy, and make your customers comfortable, there will be no end to the positive feedback and recommendations your company receives from customers.

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